Amaka Agbu – Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State on Monday inaugurated the Committee for Accreditation and Approval of Private Schools in the state.
Speaking during the inauguration at Government House Port Harcourt, the governor charged the members to embark on a comprehensive assessment of schools with the objective of reviving the standard of education.
The governor said that the basic education level was important to the development of education.
“I plead with you to be committed to delivering on this assignment because it is critical to the development of education in the state.
“I respect members of the committee and urge you not to allow anyone to offer bribes to you. How much can they give to you that will convince you to mortgage the future of Rivers children?” he queried.
Governor Wike said the State Government was committed to ensuring that private schools were of approved standard, with the right facilities and qualified teachers.
He said that in carrying out the assignment, members of the committee should not be swayed by prominent persons, politicians, and their relatives.
“There is nothing like party chairman or party secretary in this assignment. In this assignment, you were not appointed by any other person. Therefore, you should be focused on assessing the schools and churning out credible reports,” he said.
He said that the State Government selected tested academics to carry out the assignment because it wanted the right outcome.
Governor Wike said the administration jettisoned the use of the Ministry of Education because most private schools had contacts at the Ministry, where they compromised the accreditation and approval process.
“We want the private schools to be of good standard. The committee should confirm the facilities at the schools and the qualification of the teachers.
“The committee must visit all the schools that have applied for accreditation. You have one month to complete this assignment and there will be no extension of time,” he said.
The Committee chairman for Accreditation and Approval of Private Schools in Rivers State (Rivers East) Prof. Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele, thanked Governor Wike for setting up the committee to help improve the quality of schools in the state through the right accreditation scheme.
He said that the business of private schools had become an all-comer affair with the motive of profit making, while the quality of education suffer.
Prof. Ozo-Mekuri said that with 30 per cent of the school enrolments, private schools should be programmed to deliver quality education to the people.